What is platelet-rich plasma (PRP)?

Concentrated blood plasma

Platelet-rich plasma contains approximately three to five times the number of platelets found in normal circulating blood. In addition, it contains platelet derived growth factor (PDGF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), transforming growth factor (TGF) and other bioactive proteins like: insulin-like growth factor 1, insulin-like growth factor 2, epidermal growth factor, Interleukin 8, keratinocyte growth factor and connective tissue growth factor.

A variety of growth factors released from PRP

Rejuvenate the skin from within

In whole blood, platelets exist in a lower concentration, but in PRP, they exist in a much higher concentration. In their resting state platelets exist as tiny discs individually, but when activated, they spill their proteins, which are growth factors or cytokines. These cytokines increase linearly with platelet concentration. What this means is that as the concentration increases, the number of growth factors increases proportionally. Growth factors signal transduction via the receptor tyrosine kinases.

Growth factors have many roles. The stimulate chemotaxis, which is directional movement in response to a chemical stimulus. Stem cells are attracted to the growth factors and migrate into the area. Cell proliferation or cell division is a response to a stimulus by growth factors. Platelet signalling where growth factors bind to stem cell membrane and growth factor stimulates cell division.

The three primary benefits of PRP are stem cell binding, growth factor concentration, and tissue regeneration. Stem cells are stimulated to regenerate new tissue. The more growth factors released sequestered into the damaged cells, the more stem cells stimulated to produce new host tissue.

How it works?

The application of PRP causes miniaturized hair follicles to become healthier and larger, producing more robust hair growth. PRP activates follicular progenitor cells (adult stem cells) and PRP is loaded with growth factors that promote rapid angiogenesis and localized cell growth. It’s been proven to make hair grow better and faster when combined with the surgical part of the hair restoration procedure.

The History

When discussing platelet rich plasma (PRP) it is worthwhile to consider the history. It was first developed in the early 1970s as a by product of multicomponent pheresis. The techniques and equipment to produce platelet rich plasma (PRP) have significantly improved through the 1990s and beyond. Over the years, the benefits of platelet rich plasma (PRP) have been documented in many different surgical procedures as previously me. It is only recently that platelet rich plasma (PRP) was introduced for hair transplant surgery. In humans, PRP has been investigated and used as a clinical tool for several types of medical treatments, including chronic tendinitis, osteoarthritis, for bone repair and regeneration, in oral surgery, and in plastic surgery.

PRP treatment at the clinic

We offer two different types of treatment: skin rejuvenation face treatment and anti-hair loss treatment. The anti-hair loss treatment can be as a stand-alone treatment or combining with hair transplantation. With both types, a small amount of your blood is taken from your arm. Then the sample is placed in a centrifuge machine to separate the platelets from other components of the blood. To maximize the concentration of the platelets we use the Harvest® SmartPrep® Multicellular Processing System, which provide the highest platelet concentration and yield compared to 12 other PRP systems.

While the machine is working, we numb the area. We use a Mesotherapy gun to administer the PRP into your scalp, which means tiny little superficial injections are given into the dermis and mesoderm. The stand-alone PRP procedure for hair loss takes about two hours. To maximize the effect of the therapy we ask our clients to come back in 3 weeks’ time for a second treatment, then after six months of the first treatment we do an evaluation and discuss if any further treatment needs.

Does it work?

PRP for hair loss is a relatively new treatment with a limited number of scientific studies to show its efficacy. The long-term benefits of PRP treatments for hair loss are not yet known. But recent studies show significant positive effect on patients with thinning hair but not on completely bald areas. They are the best candidates for a stand-alone PRP treatment. All patients receiving PRP treatments in our clinic are followed closely to determine effectiveness and if other therapeutic modalities may be needed.

More Articles about PRP

The effect of autologous activated platelet-rich plasma injection on female pattern hair loss: A randomized placebo-controlled study. 2017, May.

Platelet-Rich Plasma in Androgenic Alopecia: Myth or an Effective Tool 2015, April.

As a carrier-transporter for hair follicle reconstitution: Platelet-rich plasma promotes proliferation and induction of mouse dermal papilla cells. 2017, April.

Efficacy of Activated 3X Platelet-Rich Plasma: The Treatment of Androgenic Alopecia. 2016,

Outcome of Intra-operative Injected Platelet-rich Plasma Therapy During Follicular Unit Extraction
Hair Transplant:
A Prospective Randomised Study in Forty Patients. 2016, July

Randomized Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind, Half-Head Study: Assess the Efficacy of Platelet-rich Plasma on the Treatment of Androgenetic Alopecia.  2016, April.

Platelet-rich plasma for androgenetic alopecia: A Pilot Study. 2014, September.